Song of the Day (Shocktober): Prince “Dance With The Devil”
“Dance With the Devil” is a fiendish Prince rarity, long buried deep in the vaults after the Purple One himself deemed it “too evil”. The song was intended to be used as part of the soundtrack to Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman film (for which Prince provided several songs) and is based on an oft repeated line from the Joker throughout the film.
The line, which The Joker even admits he is confused by, serves to underscore his role as a figure of chaotic evil throughout the film, but also the notion that he and Batman both ended up having a hand in creating each other, and as such, are flip sides of the same coin. The Burton Batman film is surprisingly deep for a comic book movie and ends up serving up pathos against a Gothic horror background. “Dance with the Devil” is, in many ways, the perfect companion piece to the heart of darkness that the film repeatedly hints at.
Besides all this, the song is absolutely brilliant: positively crackling with a slow beat, dark minor key chords, scintillating vocals, spooky sound effects and an irresistible demonic energy that for my money places it among the absolute best songs that Prince ever recorded. Prince, however, recoiled in horror at the pure pop malevolence of his own creation, locking the song deep in his vaults and hastily recording the rather camp radio hit “Batdance”.
Like all things evil, however, “Dance With The Devil” had a way of periodically creeping out of the vault. Written about by Prince biographers and eventually finding its way onto early file-sharing servers, the song demanded that it be heard. With Prince‘s tragic death last year, many of his unreleased songs have made it on to Youtube. How long before what The Purple One always feared comes to pass and “Dance With the Devil” is officially released to an unsuspecting public.
Listen to it if you dare!